Zip Lining Around the World

488623025Picture it: you’re standing at the edge of a wooden platform that’s about 150 feet above the jungle floor. Your heart’s racing, your hands are sweating, but you know you are perfectly safe because you are equipped with a helmet, harness and work gloves. You have an experienced tour guide with you that checks the harness and snaps the carabiner into the pulleys that will carry you over a valley of greenery. You take a deep breathe, place a gloved hand onto the strap that connects the harness to the pulley and you lift your feet up and swoop off of the platform disappearing into a thick tangle of trees. As you are gliding done the zip line you remind yourself to look down because the view is breathtaking. All of this sounds like fun, right? If you are ready to take this exhilarating adventure, here’s some of the 5 best places in the world to zip line.

Icy Straight Point, Alaska
The largest zip line in the United States, the ZipRider, can be found in Icy Straight Point, Alaska. It’s more than a mile long and has a vertical drop of about 1,300 feet. This 90 second ride can handle up to 6 riders who simultaneously zip down 6 different parallel lines. The average speed for riders is about 60 mph. Those brave enough to go down this zip line will go over not only parts of an ocean, but a tree covered mountain as well.  Another option while in Alaska is to zipline in Juneau.  Experience 7 ziplines and cross at 150 ft suspension bridge 40 ft above the ground that hovers above the headwaters of a salmon spawning stream.

Arenal Volcano Park, Costa Rica
The zip line at Arenal Volcano Park in Costa Rica is definitely not for those that are afraid of hot lava. That’s because this almost two mile long zip line, called The Sky Trek, takes riders right by the Arenal Volcano, which is still considered to be active. Even though this volcano hasn’t erupted since 1984, park rangers still monitor it to make sure that there’s no flowing lava. Riders soar through the jungle and over Arenal Lake. There’s also the option to zip line at night as well. For those that aren’t feeling quite ready to try The Sky Trek, they can still see quite a few fantastic views of the jungle by going on the open air gondola called Sky Walk.  There are lots of places to zip line in Costa Rica – the picture below is of a zipline in the Costa Rica countryside.

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Hocking Hills, Ohio
You don’t have to travel to a faraway place to find an incredible place to zip line. Hocking Hills Canopy Tours offers a quarter mile zip line experience called the SuperZip. Riders will reach speeds of about 50 mph as they go over a dense forest, a cliff and Hocking River. This zip line is perfect for couples as the zip lines is built for two riders at a time. Just like with the zip line at Arenal Volcano Park, riders have the option to zip line at night on select days. In addition to the SuperZip there’s 10 different zip lines that are slower in speed.

Samatai, China
One of the most interesting things about the Simatai zip line in China is that in order to get to it, riders have to hike up the stairs of the Great Wall of China. Not very many zip lines can say that they have one of the Seven Wonders of the World as backdrop. Once to the top, riders will zip line down over Mandarin Duck Lake where they can see the spectacular mountains in the area. The trek up the Great Wall of China can be strenuous so there is also a chairlift ride available for those that don’t want to exert themselves.

Allure of the Seas & Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships
This zip line made our list of the top 5 best places in the world to zip line because, well, zip lining on a cruise ship is just plain awesome! Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas zip lines only lasts for about 10 seconds, but riders will have the chance to fly down nine flights directly above other vacationers. To us, that sounds pretty cool!

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While on the subject of cruising, you can also Zipline on any Royal Caribbean cruise that stops in Labadee, Haiti.  It’s called Dragon’s Breath Fight Line. Unleash your sense of adventure as you soar down the side of a mountain attached to a 2,600-foot long flight line.  You can enjoy incredible views of the beach while soaring 500 ft. over the water at speeds of 40 to 50 mph.

Zip line or canopy tours have grown quite popular over the years. Zip line excursions can be taken by pretty much all age groups, but before you book one you should ask about the number of zip lines available, if there is a lot of walking or hiking to get to the starting point and if there are any age, height or weight limits so that you make sure the trip is right for you. When planning a vacation, keep in mind that many family tours are designed with lots of activities included in the price, such as horseback riding, river rafting and of course zip line tours.

 

10 Colorful Cities Around The World

Imagine living in a city where a wonderful explosion of color is all around you. From reds, to yellows, to greens, some town just pop with color at every corner you turn. If you are wondering where you can find these vibrant towns, take a look at our some of our favorites in this post called 10 colorful cities around the world.

Cinque Terre, Italy
Clique Terre is located on the coast of Italy. It consists of five villages that are part of Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rugged landscape that is perched over cliffs is part of the city’s charm. The five villages must be accessed by boats, trains or paths and are not accessible by car. This colorful area is known not only for its beauty, but its food as well. Some of the area’s specialties include anchovies, farinata and gelato. Cinque Terra is home to two locally made wines as well as limoncello and grappa.

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Pattaya, Thailand
Pattaya is a popular beach town in Thailand. It is located on the east coast and was once a fishing town. Popular activities in the area include the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, The Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Park Beach Resort. Pattaya is also known for its golf courses. There are 21 of them located within about an hour of the city. Pattaya has a beauty that isn’t seen in many other cities in Thailand. Around 15 million people visit the area each year.

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Wroclaw, Poland
Most people don’t realize how beautiful certain parts of Poland are. The city of Wroclaw, located in western Poland, is vibrant. Many people visit it just to see all the sites. Main Market Square has a lot to see and do including Old Town Hall and St. Elisabeth’s Church. The Centennial Hall is a World Heritage Site and is located close to Main Market Square. Other sites include Multimedia Fountain, the largest zoo in Poland and the Botanical Garden in Wroclaw.

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Burano Island, Italy
Burano Island is located in northern Italy in the Venetian Lagoon. It consists of small houses that have a lot of character. Each one is painted in bright colors and the owners actually have to send a request to the government if they want to paint their house. This ensures that the owner only paints their house a color that is permitted for that specific piece of property. In addition to the beautiful houses to view, visitors can visit the Museum and School of Lacemaking, Church of San Martino and Oratoria di Santa Barbara.

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Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
One of Mexico’s most popular beach towns in Puerto Vallarta. It’s located on the Pacific Ocean and filled with colorful homes and businesses. Area attractions include a secluded beach called Playa Conchas Chinas, the public markets of Mercado Municipal Cuale and Mercado Isle Cuale and Cuale Archaeological Museum.

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St. John’s, Canada
St. John’s is not only the capital city, but the largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s also considered to be North America’s oldest English founded city. The city’s metropolitan area is popular for tourists because there are so many interesting sites to visit. The Railway Coastal Museum shows how the rail system in the area has developed over the past 100 years. Signal Hill overlooks St. John. It’s a National Historic Site of Canada. It’s estimated that 97% of the tourist that travel to St. John will visit Signal Hill. Murray Premises is another National Historic Site in Canada. It was once used as a fishery and now its buildings are used for shops, restaurants, suites and a hotel.

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Berlin, Germany
Berlin is perhaps the most beautiful city in Germany. It’s situated on the River Spree in northeastern Germany. Berlin has quite the nightlife and there are many nightclubs and bars in the area. Panorama Bar is one of the most well-known bars in Berlin as patrons are known to arrive in the evening and stay until the sun rises the next day. There’s also plenty of other things to do for tourists who are not interested in participating in the nightlife. Berlin actually has 153 different museums including the UNESCO World Heritage Site called Museum Island. Other areas of interest include The Berlin Wall Memorial, Unter den Linden and Reichstag.

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Cote d’azur, France
Cote d’Azur is known as the French Riviera. This southeast corner of France is full of color, elegance and liveliness. Nice is the heart of the area and is well loved among foodies. The market that’s held from Tuesday to Saturday offers visitors and locals a wide array of foods with different colors, textures and flavors. Antibes is another extraordinary place to visit. With its cobbled streets and French charm it’s a favorite among travelers.

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Willemstad, Curacoa
Willemstad is Curacao Island’s capital city. It is welcoming to visitors and has two historic districts. This upbeat city has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its colorful colonial structures. Popular activities include swimming with the dolphins as well as watersports, shopping and sightseeing. Both Fort Church Museum and Fort Amsterdam display a look into Curacao’s colonial past.

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Jodhpur, India
Jodhpur is known as India’s blue city. The city is located towards the western part of the country and over 1 million people call the city home. There’s a lot to see in Jodhpur including temples, palaces and vibrant blue painted houses. The city is almost always sunny which makes it a popular tourist destination year round. Tourist attractions include Masooria Hils, Mehrangarh Fort, Bhim Bhirak Cave and Ghanta Ghar. The landscape of Jodhpur is so beautiful that it was featured in the movies The Fall and The Dark Knight Rises.

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